The State House in Augusta and the Gerald Hotel in Fairfield are two of the 2014 projects that received 2014 Maine Preservation Statewide Honor Awards Wednesday.

The two projects were among 11, as well as four individuals, who were honored Wednesdsay night at the Portland Country Club in Falmouth for the awards, which recognize excellence in historic preservation throughout the state. The awards highlight the importance of preservation, rehabilitation and adaptive use of important historic Maine landmarks as well as heritage trades, and encourage the use of historic buildings for downtown and neighborhood revitalization, according to a press release from Maine Preservation announcing the awards.

The projects are helping to fulfill communities’ needs, while providing a boost to the economy and the real estate industry throughout the state, the release said. Since 2008, 55 privately developed projects have invested $333 million in construction using Maine Historic Preservation Tax Credits, including four of the projects honored this year.

Among those honored Wednesday were individuals, property owners, architects, developers, contractors, preservation consultants, and other team members who demonstrated great achievement and best practices in historic preservation in Maine, the release said.

The copper on Maine’s State House dome was replaced this year in a months-long project that expected to be complete this month.

The copper dome was added to the 1832 State House in 1910. Weather damage and the years required replacement of the copper, which had turned green over the decades The new copper will eventually also take on that familiar patina, developers said.

In collaboration with Becker Structural Engineering, The Heritage Company, EverGreene Architectural Arts, E.S. Boulos Company and ACE Corporation, Consigli Construction replaced the dome, including repairs to prevent water infiltration, the restoration of the cupola, the gilding of the Lady Wisdom sculpture and new LED lights in the statue’s torch, according to the release.

“The restoration of one of Maine’s most significant historic landmark buildings will return its signature copper dome and gilded Lady Wisdom sculpture to their original intended condition, with painting and gilding lasting for 20 to 30 years and the roof for another one hundred years,” the release said.

In Fairfield, the Gerald Hotel, built between 1899 and 1900 by Fairfield businessman Amos F. Gerald, underwent a transition to senior housing.

Working with Sheridan Construction, Architect Richard Goduti, Sutherland Conservation & Consulting, and Tony Castro & Company, the new owner, Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, renovated the hotel, creating 28 units of affordable housing as well as first floor retail space, while, the release notes, being sensitive to the unique character of the building.

The heritage group notes that notable work includes enclosing the grand staircase in fire-rated glass to meet current codes while retaining prominent architectural features and extensive paint analysis and plaster work to restore original features and color schemes.

The project qualified for federal and state historic tax credits and received National Park Service certification in December, the release said, and added that the rehabilitation of the hotel put to use a vacant landmark on Fairfield’s Main Street, restored key architectural features and increased employment and affordable housing in the town center.


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